Dragon in black bamboo
The Eastern love for bamboo is best reflected in the adoration of the so-called black bamboo. Bamboo as we know it but in black instead of light brown. This pipe has something else that adds to its appeal. The object is not spear-straight as we are used to but instead has a particularly playful appearance. We see that a dragon's head has been carved from the thickest end piece with an open mouth with pointed teeth. The sculpted head is applied with gold paint for extra attention. The brass bowl to burn the tobacco is placed at the back of the dragon's head. The Chinese will have admired the twisting whimsical body where the bamboo wriggles in all kinds of unexpected hairpin curves, something that fits in with the Chinese love for unexpected shapes created by nature. Incidentally, the flue does not run through the entire twisting bamboo branch as our imagination assumes. The smoke deflects via a separate insert stem that serves to take it in. As a result, the rest of the bamboo did not have to be pierced, which is technically impossible. Despite the countless curls in the bamboo, the actual stem is only thirty centimeters long. Such curious creations were intended to stand out and thus belong to the category of rarities. While this pipe has been heavily smoked, its primary function was undoubtedly to show off and command admiration for Mother Nature. The date must be at the end of the nineteenth century.
Amsterdam Pipe Museum APM 24.620Permalink